Honestly, I haven’t been a Bell helmet fan since my early days with the Moto 3 and 4. Two reasons really. First was fit, since they felt to be a little too round and pushed a little too much on my forehead for my comfort. Second was that when I would do a good crash with them, and I can only speak for the crashes I had, the name of the company and what was going on in my head had a lot in common. But they always did their job, and I did wear every edition of the successful full-faced helmet at one time or another.But the Moto 9 may just change that, especially since the overall fit seems changed so it is very comfortable in the circumference surrounding my perfect sized-medium head, if I do say so myself. It is nice, plush and secure all at once, and that is my first requirement if I’m to be wearing a helmet past just wearing for some photos. The washable X-Static silver-lined extended wear interior has a high-dollar feel and cleaned up just fine with a mild-soap wash after a few dirty rides.
The technology in the build has been kicked up a level or two as well. The Kevlar/carbon fiber/fiberglass TriMatrix composite shell has been built to meet the strong guidelines it takes to pass the tough Snell 2010 test, which includes a double impact on a single location. This test is very difficult on the shell structure of any helmet and would come into play on a catastrophic event, I’m told, but hopefully I will never find out. The attachment of the cheek pads is unique, too. It uses a magnetic attachment system that uses some cone-like attachment points to securely hold the pad in place. Another magnet attaches any excess chinstrap without a button-type connector. Now you can easily pull out the magnetically attached pad when your head is not in the helmet, and it is designed to allow the removal of the pads with your head in the helmet if there is suspicion of a neck-type injury to make helmet removal that much easier. There is also, shaped into the foam lining, a placement area for the Eject helmet removal system, in which an air bag is inflated pressing on the top of the skull and inflating the helmet off without putting strain on the neck.
All these features, in a very safety-conscious world, are good forward-thinking ideas. And neither system interfered with function, meaning the pads never unintentionally came loose. Now for me personally, the cheek pads were about 5mm too thick and caused me to bite my cheeks and talk funny with the lid on, but Bell says there will be optional pad sizes available soon. The venting on the helmet looks pretty well thought out and has some channeling to funnel fast-moving air right between the shell and liner. It was noticeable more than most helmets but not as impressive as I would have imagined from a visual perspective. My only other issue was the small extra nosepiece would come unattached on one side or another when my goggles would catch on it. On that note the eye opening was large enough for even my larger-sized Scott 89 goggles.
The Moto 9 is available in sizes XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL in a number of colorways, and my medium weighed in at 3.6 pounds. As soon as I get those cheek pads, I’ll have no issues wearing this $475.95 helmet any time I ride. — Jimmy LewisGear 93.0